Writing in the “ZONE”- Part I
by: Minda Burr
Writing is such a great opportunity for you to express your “one-of-a-kind” self uniquely, so it’s important to know how you can best access your own personal “creative genius”. So, we are first going to take a look at our big, beautiful brains and how they help us (and hinder us) creatively.
The LEFT SIDE of our brain is dominated by our Conscious Mind – where our logic and reason comes from, as well as our ability to analyze. It stores a lot of valuable data and information that we can draw from. It’s also where our critical mind resides as well as our censor. The RIGHT SIDE of our brain is where our CREATIVITY is ignited and our delicious imaginations are stirred. It’s where our feelings and intuition stem from. The right side is also where we have access to the subconscious mind as well as the “collective UN-conscious.” The great news about that is that we have access to information that is not limited to our own individual experiences, but to the “all” of humanity”. And if we venture far enough away from our conscious mind, we can dive into the creative ZONE where there is no time, there is no space, there are no worries, there are no judgments, there is only the BLISS of the creative “experience.”
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT —Your first draft of anything should be where you give the right side of your brain FULL reign! Where you don’t try to control anything and you let it rip! You allow your imagination, intuition, your heart and soul and your own personal “creative genius” to have some FUN. Your first draft is where you allow them to take you on a ride that will DELIGHT and surprise you. The last thing on your mind should be about “doing it correctly” in the first draft. Perfectionism KILLS creativity… Imagine Vincent Van Gogh if he had tried to paint “correctly” — we would be without his “one-of-a-kind” masterpieces. Talk about a brilliant authentic expression!
For example, allow these characters you are choosing to explore to have some interaction and dialogue with each other without you trying to control it. You will be surprised at some of the brilliant dialogue that comes out of their mouths! Especially since you didn’t say it; they did. As a matter of fact, if you give your characters enough reign, they will start to inform your story. They will tell you what they want to say, where they want to go and what they want to do… Amazing things you wouldn’t have thought of consciously.
If you allow your imagination to SOAR in the first draft, it will make your rewrites much easier and more fun because you are now invested emotionally and you have some brilliant gems you can PLAY with. Then, in the rewrites, you can apply more structure and technique, but remain open for the “ah ha” moments. Soon things will start to make sense that might not have before. For example, did you know that M. Night Shyamalan (who wrote and directed The Sixth Sense) didn’t even know that the Bruce Willis character was dead until the 4th or 5th draft? That one element made the movie ten times more impactful… Perhaps it’s time to TRUST yourself and surrender to the creative “Zone”. We’ll talk more about how you can do that next time… (to be continued in part II).